Amsterdam Light Festival announces seventh edition

13th September 2018

(Netherlands) – The full lineup of artists and installations has been announced for the seventh annual Amsterdam Light Festival, beginning on 29 November 2018.

The Amsterdam Light Festival will return to the Dutch capital for a seventh year in November, with 30 artworks in place to illuminate the city centre.

For this year’s edition, artists, designers and architects from sixteen different countries will share their interpretation of the central theme: The Medium is the Message, the famous statement made by Canadian scientist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan. The idea behind his statement was simple: the way we send a message is at least as important as the message itself.

The participating artists focused on questions such as: what role does light play as a medium or a message? And how can light create spaces that would otherwise have remained invisible?

The city of Amsterdam as a medium for telling stories is also a central part of this edition. On behalf of the festival, art historian Koen Kleijn went in search of remarkable stories about the city and from October onward they will be released as a ten-part series on the festival website. In his stories Kleijn identifies the connection between the city and the central theme.

There will be one exhibition, in the historical centre of Amsterdam, which can be experienced in different ways: by boat, by bike or on foot. This year, for the very first time, visitors can vote for their favourite light artwork. The Public Award will be presented to the artist of the winning artwork in the last weekend of the festival.

A selection of the participating artists and artworks for this year’s festival includes Ivana Jelić and Pavle Petrović of Serbia, who found inspiration for their work Starry Night in Van Gogh’s famous painting of the same name. Since the beginning of the 21st century, as a result of the increase in light pollution, starry nights are less and less visible in urban areas. With the installation Starry Night, the Serbian duo will give Amsterdam its starry night back, reminding visitors of what they are missing out on.

Elsewhere, French artist collective Groupe LAPS has designed Spider on the Bridge: 80 spiders of two metres each, which together form one gigantic spider on the bridge between the Herengracht and Amstel. Light effects will give the illusion that the creatures are crawling all over each other.

Other participating artists include Australian duo amigo & amigo with their Parabolic Lightcloud installation and Israel’s OGE Group, whose Light a Wish installation is a clear example of the powerful way in which light arouses emotions.

Dutch visual artist Jeroen Henneman is guest of honour at Amsterdam Light Festival 2018-2019. Well known for his sculptures that look like ‘standing drawings’, he has designed exclusively for Amsterdam Light Festival Two Lamps, two gigantic lamp sculptures that will have their own stage between the streetlights in the famous ‘Golden Bend’ along the Herengracht. By day, the lamps form a graphic, dark silhouette, by night a ‘drawn’ line of light.

Amsterdam Light Festival will run from 29 November 2018 to 20 January 2019.

An artistic impression of the Starry Night installation from Serbian duo Ivana Jelić and Pavle Petrović.